© 2003-2016

Booth in Virginia City, 2007
Video captured in the Virginia City, Nevada, cemetery.

In 2005 I started an avatar on an expedition that traces a surface, or skin appropriated from John Wilkes Booth. The avatar is automated according to a fictional journey that weaves through historical sites, online networks, and electromechanical sculptures. The evolving project borrows from history and popular culture to create mythological fictions that interlace inside an expanding narrative. The tracking of Booth’s path is documented in 200 page guidebook that describes artworks, tells stories and functions as a guide for participatory interaction.

Igloo White, 2008
Custom Electronics, Glass, Plastic, Chicken Bones, 5 Hour Energy, Motor Oil, Theatrical Blood

'Igloo White' is a kinetic sculpture activated by pressing a large red arcade button located at its base. When pressed, the object plays through a narrative via moving parts, sound elements and a small computer controlled monitor. The object tells a story of Booth's failure to understand the word he inhabits. The object is modeled after GI Joe and Star Wars action toys.

Weeping Armor, 2008
Custom Electronics, Video Game

'Weeping Armor' is a wearable modeled in a cosplay fashion. It is displayed on a stand and is automated with kinetic actions that are linked to a video game. When players interact with the game the suit responds by flipping its glasses forward, activating LEDS and pumps air along the back. In the ‘Booth’ fiction, soldiers are trained to control weeping by wearing the armor. It forces them into a slumped position and then proceeds to comfort them by massaging their backs with air.

Journey To the Center of the Earth, 2008
Custom Electronics, Stickers, AstroTurf, Chicken Bone, molded plastic

This is an interactive audio diorama telling the story of Booth's quest to a cave that will lead him on a journey to the center of the earth.

Souvenir, 2011
Penny Press

'Souvenir' is a souvenir penny press that imprints crushed pennies with images of John Wilkes Booth. Effectively, Abraham Lincoln is transformed into his assassin in this piece. The penny press is currently being moved to Enid, Oklahoma where a local mythology involving Booth exists. According to this conspiracy theory, Booth escaped and lived out his life in an Enid boarding house using the alias David E. George. The penny-press will provide souvenirs in the original room Booth (George) would have occupied (currently hidden in the storage attic of a furniture store). Link: souvenir

Our American Cousin, 2012 [Custom Software]

This piece is a software adaptation of the stage play Our American Cousin. It theatrically mixes historical and procedural narratives with viewer interaction and synthesized sound. The work borrows its narrative from the stage play ‘Our American Cousin’ as well as related histories surrounding Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Electronic voices, performed via computer text-to-speech output, complement active geometric forms produced by the software. A computer that performs the piece continuously offers viewers the potential to disrupt the virtual theater by simply moving in front of a webcam. When disrupted, the text-to-speech ‘actors’ pause performance, while pixel versions of John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln spew from the geometries. After being interrupted for a period of time the computer begins to glitch. When movement in front of the webcam ceases, the software resumes the play from where it left off. Link: our american cousin

Booth, 2005 ~ present
Various media

The intent is to steal Booth’s image from history and treat it as the skin of an automaton; an automaton animated according to nodes attached to an evolving fiction. This fictional Booth abstractly occupies these nodes, which are equated to the cogs and mechanisms moving beneath the surface of an automaton. Scroll through the image gallery to see an example of the Booth narrative and corresponding objects. Contact me if you would like a copy of the Booth Guidebook.